According to OECD report, BC’s Bonuses For Doctors Plan Could Work (video)

j0402122.jpgI think the BC government might be on to something trying to encourage efficiency in emergency rooms and reductions in waiting lists by providing bonuses to Doctors. The CBC reports,

The B.C. government is considering a proposal to pay performance incentives to emergency room doctors who meet specific time targets, Health Minister George Abbott says.

According to the 2003 OECD report, “Tackling Excessive Waiting Times for Elective Surgery: A Comparison of Policies in Twelve OECD Countries,” it has been tried in other countries and yielded positive results.

The OECD study discusses currently popular thought on two methods for reducing wait times including supply side policies and demand side policies. The study suggests the answer is a combination of both.

Demand-side policies include the prioritization of patients according to need, managing access to waiting lists accordingly or encouraging private health coverage to divert public care to private care.

Supply-side policies include increasing the number of specialists and beds, maximizing available capacity in the private sector, funding extra activity, fostering same day-surgery, and linking the remuneration system of doctors and hospitals to the activity performed.

Re-numeration for effective management of wait lists and increased activity is an example of a combination of demand/supply side policy. Productivity is higher at hospitals that are funded based on activity versus those whose funding is based on fixed budgets. Allowing dual practice by salaried surgeons (in both public and private sectors) could encourage some surgeons to lengthen the public queues to boost the demand for their private practices (OECD, 2003).

It will be interesting to see if this new policy will have a positive affect on health care waiting times in BC. At least BC is trying to do something unlike the Harper/Cons whose new health care wait times plan actually increases wait times for some surgeries across Canada.

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6 thoughts on “According to OECD report, BC’s Bonuses For Doctors Plan Could Work (video)

  1. mushroom says:

    “Allowing dual practice by salaried surgeons (in both public and private sectors) could encourage some surgeons to lengthen the public queues to boost the demand for their private practices.”

    Note that this means the OECD does support two-tier medicine to help shorten the queues. Ralph Klein had suggested this and Canadians basically said no to the Cons in the 2004 election.

    Don’t give the PM this idea. He had alaready told the Fraser Institute off that he will respect the Canada Health Act.

  2. Woman at Mile 0 says:

    Umm I don’t think that is a positive statement supporting two tier medicine. It is saying that when Doctor’s work in both systems they might manipulate one to get more clients and money in the other. Lengthening public queues to ensure more clients in private practise is a conflict of interest. I think it speaks more to the idea that the concept is not a good idea.

  3. mushroom says:

    I thought I read it wrong, but the report has suggested this:

    “encouraging private health coverage to divert public care to private care.”

    “maximizing available capacity in the private sector”

    Most OECD states do have private medical clinics. They are not going to ban them overnight. The consensus among economists is that since only a select few who can pay will have access to them, the government needs to create mechanisms in which the general public will use them. This will include the setting up of medical savings accounts (Singapore), creating legislation that will allow for provisions in which employers and employees have to make mandatory contributions into private health insurance schemes (Netherlands), or subsiding 80 per cent of the cost an individual pays to see a private practice (France).

    Of course, economists are dismal practitioners. Academics like us tend to think critically and out of the box.

    BTW, Mile O. How is your MA thesis getting along?

  4. Woman At Mile 0 says:

    Well I think if there is a shortage of Doctors in a place like Canada with Universal Health Care then all we are talking about is pulling from one system to resource another in the end. In the end, we need the people for health care..its a pretty hands-on profession. I think public service, if transparent, can do a better job of keeping costs down than the private health care industry. A conflict of interest can exist on so many levels in the private system when you let the foxes watch the henhouse.

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